Often, cells showing CIN 1 will return to normal without any treatment at all. If your colposcopist decides not to treat these minor changes, they'll arrange for you to have further screening tests. This is to make sure that any further changes that may occur are quickly recognised.
CIN 2 and 3
Most doctors and researchers agree that CIN 2 and 3 should be treated. The aim of treatment is to remove the abnormal area, while causing as little damage as possible to surrounding healthy tissue. It's also possible to destroy the abnormal cells, rather than remove them, although this isn't commonly done.
Ways of removing the abnormal area include:
- large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ)
- a cone biopsy
- a hysterectomy or trachelectomy, although this is rare.
Ways of destroying the cells in the abnormal area so that normal cells can grow back in their place include:
- laser therapy
- cold coagulation
Currently, LLETZ is the most commonly used method of treatment.